Living in Trump’s America is like a late night walk through a street market in Bangkok: all the dirtiest, scandalous, worst parts of human behavior is openly displayed under neon lights. When one walks through the narrow aisles – air thick with hope, shame, and fear -they immediately suffer from sensory overload. At once one experiences feelings of fascination, shock, disgust, and anger. We knew people’s clandestine habits; but it is still disturbing when we see them boldly exhibited.
Similarly, we know that White men possess most of the power in America; but the Kavanaugh hearing put the gross power imbalances and misogyny of this country on full display. This man, who is being considered for a position that has the power to affect this country for the decades, yelled, cried, disrespected one of his interviewers, avoided questions, threatened, and lied during his job interview. He seemed hysterical, aggressive, agitated. At no point did he display the composure of what one would expect from a Supreme Court Justice. Frankly, I would be nervous to hire him to work at McDonald’s. And yet, I wonder tonight, as many are, if he ultimately will still be confirmed, if he will still get the job that he should have already been disqualified for as a matter of principle.
It’s incredible that the man was even granted an interview. How many people would be granted an interview after three credible women accused the candidate of sexual crimes? At worst, he is a sexual deviant and predator. At best, he “might” be guilty of indecent exposure, gross indifference and sexual assault. Would you hire a “might be” rapist to be your secretary, your housekeeper or your lawn guy? So how in the hell is this “might be” assailant just two to three votes short of having lifetime tenure in one of the most important positions in the country?
But perhaps it should not surprise me, as he is a White man. He is a White man who has history, legacy and dozens of other White men backing him. No amount of testimony, credibility, or concern from the female, Black and Brown communities can trump that. Or should I say “Trump” that. It’s the reality of our world.
Kavanaugh was shocked to be challenged, was appalled to be questioned, particularly by women who he has historically discounted and marginalized. Whether Blasey-Ford herself, or Senators Feinstein, Harris and Kombuchar – he could not contain his disdain and dismissal of the women questioning him.
I hope we are at a place where these women, these female voices – both victims and interrogators – are valued, listened to, and heard. I hope their truth ends any further debate about Kavannaugh. But I am dubious and fearful that nothing has really changed. This past week has lifted the veil of niceties and put the full truth – and full ugliness – of America on display. Whether that ugliness proves disqualifying for Kavanaugh is yet to be seen.
My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more